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November 20, 2020 | Democracy Journal
On All Fronts at Once
Joe Biden is already up against the clock. Amid overlapping public health, economic, racial justice, and climate crises, failure to act and act fast will translate into lives lost, deeper economic pain, and a hastening climate catastrophe. To make matters more dire, it’s looking like the Senate will be a formidable, though not necessarily insurmountable, roadblock. It is, therefore, essential that the Biden Administration be prepared to capitalize on the momentum that propelled it into office. But even the strongest White House team will not be able to tightly manage all components of this policy onslaught on the timeline required. To succeed, the Biden Administration must embrace creative, sometimes unusual strategies, push many initiatives simultaneously, and rely heavily on the talents of the figures it has appointed.
November 20, 2020
Biden Administration Must Remove Trump Holdovers On Day One
While the vast majority of Trump’s appointees will presumptively step down on January 20 a critical, powerful minority will stay in their seats until they are asked to leave. This includes the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, Inspectors General, United States Attorneys, and a suite of chairpersons at independent agencies. Upon assuming the Oval Office, Biden should ask for their resignations without delay.
November 13, 2020 | Slate
No, Mitch McConnell Can't Veto Joe Biden's Cabinet
In McConnell, Biden likely faces an opponent ideologically hellbent on sabotaging any government led by someone with a “D” next to their name. McConnell has had ample opportunity to address Covid-19, its accompanying recession, climate change, and other crises facing the country—his inaction speaks for itself.
October 28, 2020 | New Republic
Beltway Lobbyists Are Clutching Their Pearls Over Biden's Ethics Reforms
Thousands of people, from all walks of life, are attracted to doing policy work in Washington. The ones who aren’t multimillionaires don’t get offered the Treasury undersecretary position as an entry-level job.
October 14, 2020
How Biden's Treasury Department Could Fight Climate Change
The fossil fuel industry depends on financial institutions to survive. And banks, for their part, pull in big profits from underwriting climate disaster. That’s why, if Joe Biden wins in November, his pick for Treasury Secretary must be an aggressive advocate for climate action. The Treasury Department has untapped capacity to push financial institutions and insurance companies to take the risks of the climate crisis seriously. While his legislative proposals elicit proper close scrutiny, his choice of Treasury Secretary is arguably among Biden’s most important climate policy decisions.
September 30, 2020 | American Prospect
The Debate We Had Vs. The Debate We Needed
Tuesday’s debate, sadly, was much more about Trump’s performative unruliness than any insight into either candidate’s plan (or lack thereof) for running the executive branch. While he had some decent moments amidst Trump’s freak show act, this was a particular disappointment for Joe Biden. The best, potentially landslide-generating argument against Trump is not that he is a horrible person. Swing voters were reminded of that by Trump’s performance all evening, but few needed the reminder.
September 22, 2020 | The New Republic
What a Defiant Democratic Party Looks Like
On Friday night, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death shocked an already reeling country. What came next, however, was sadly unsurprising. Mere hours after Ginsburg’s passing, McConnell had already affirmed that he would hold a vote for Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy, contravening the ersatz standard he set out in 2016. Or, as Senator Chris Murphy put it, “Nobody’s word means anything in this place anymore. All that matters is raw power.” It’s a bit of a belated realization: Republicans are unafraid to use their power to achieve their desired ends. Will Democrats respond in kind?
August 20, 2020 | The Daily Beast
Nancy Pelosi Needs to Do More to Save the Postal Service—and the Election
The crisis at the Postal Service has been building and accelerating for months with virtually no official response. Over the past two weeks, however, it reached a crescendo that even the country’s remarkably confrontation-averse opposition party could not ignore. In a matter of days, overwhelming grassroots pressure pushed House Democrats from seemingly having no plan to executing a rapid return to Washington, D.C., getting a hearing with the postmaster general on the calendar for next week and winning a promise from Louis DeJoy to cease operational changes until after the election.
August 10, 2020
The Revolving Door Project on Fighting Monopoly Power
Congress and the antitrust enforcement agencies have given unprecedented attention to the monopoly issues surrounding Big Tech in recent months. The scrutiny is one step toward rebalancing our increasingly concentrated economy, especially in the time of COVID-19, when small businesses are struggling to survive and corporations are further entrenching their power. But the problem of economic concentration extends far beyond Big Tech. It defines almost every corner of our economy. With the upcoming election and a potential shift in power, Joe Biden has an opportunity to reduce economic consolidation across the board, using executive branch powers including, but not limited to, reforming the antitrust enforcement agencies.
July 18, 2020 | Washington Monthly
Better Policy Ideas Alone Won’t Stop Monopolies
Over the last four years, new voices in the Democratic Party have been calling for policies that push back on established power structures. The growing anti-monopoly movement is a major part of this populist uprising—aimed at breaking up the corporate giants that dominate large swaths of the economy.
July 17, 2020
Oversight of Congressional Oversight: Assessing the House Ways and Means Committee
Last fall, Democrats ran and won on an anti-corruption platform. The Revolving Door Project (RDP) is committed to ensuring that members of the new majority fulfill their promises to bring accountability to Trump, his powerful allies, and corporate bad actors. Oversight is an incredibly powerful tool that can shine a light on overlooked issues, unearth answers about clandestine misbehavior, and generate consensus around reforms.
July 17, 2020
The Oversight Options Available to the House Ways & Means Committee
As we wrote at the American Prospect in January, Neal should have requested Trump’s tax returns right away and after that easy part of the committee’s job was over, proceeded to more complex oversight. (alas, Neal has not yet taken our advice)
July 13, 2020 | The American Prospect
Trump’s Tax Returns Remain Hidden. Blame Richard Neal.
Don’t let the headlines fool you. The Supreme Court’s decision last Thursday in Trump v. Mazars doesn’t deserve much celebration. Although the Court upheld Congress’s right to investigate the president as a general matter, it placed new restrictions on that power and punted on the specific question at hand: Can Congress get immediate access to President Trump’s financial records through his accounting firm? With the case potentially headed for many more months of litigation, there is a significant chance the president’s records will not be made public before the election this fall.
June 24, 2020 | The American Prospect
The Quiet Seizure Of Independent Agencies
Over the past several years, Trump has repeatedly nominated, and McConnell has confirmed, unpaired Republican nominees to independent agency boards, creating persistent imbalances across the regulatory apparatus.
May 20, 2020
The Revolving Door Project Responds to Coronavirus
In the space of just a few weeks, the coronavirus outbreak has called into question almost every aspect of the political consensus of the last few decades. As it turns out, selling government for parts (aka “privatizing” or “reinventing” government), rolling back regulations, starving governing bodies of resources, and holding those who attempt to serve the public good in contempt, has left us exceedingly vulnerable.